Following the capacity-building workshop jointly organized by AFoCO and ITTO on “Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region: Accessing Climate Change Finance and Carbon Benefits for FLR,” AFoCO RETC facilitated a post-workshop session titled “An Intensive Discussion for FLR and REDD+” at Forest and Wildlife Training Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The workshop was held from 5 to 7 October 2022 in collaboration with the Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development (IRD) under the Forestry Administration (FA) of Cambodia. The three-day workshop welcomed 15 government officials from 9 AFoCO member parties—Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.
During the opening of the workshop, Mr. Chan Ponika, Deputy Director General of Forest Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, Kingdom of Cambodia, welcomed the workshop participants and acknowledge the support of AFoCO in his welcome remark. “I believe the outcomes of this intensive discussion will lead to the development of a practical action plan paving the way for the success of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) implementation in the region as well as making our forests healthier. Our training center was built 20 years ago and much of its facilities have deteriorated due to a lack of budget for maintenance. With the opportunity of having the AFoCO regional workshop here, we are able to renovate and refurbish some of the training facilities and we look forward to promoting and maximizing the use of these training center after the training.”
The workshop aimed to provide a platform for intensive discussions among the member countries on FLR and REDD+ by learning from the experiences of Cambodia. The workshop also introduced the concept of the Climate Action Partnership Strategy currently under development as part of AFoCO Strategic Plan 2024-2030 and explored effective implementation of FLR/REDD+ activities with AFoCO Climate Action Partnership Strategy. On the first day of the workshop, the workshop was started by summarizing the previous online workshop, the participants presentations on challenges and opportunities of FLR and REDD+ implementation in their countries and started the group discussions on “AFoCO Climate Action Partnership Strategy”. On 6 October 2022, second day of the workshop, the participants visited the “Tumring REDD+ Project Site” located in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia. During the field visit, the participants met and discussed with officers from Project Management Unit (PMU) and Field Implementation Unit (FIU) of the project site, later visit to the two Community Forestry Management Committee – CFMC (O’bosleav & Kbal Dontey). At the last day of the workshop, RETC team and the workshop participants shared observations & lessons learned from the field visit, continued intensive group discussions and closed the workshop by wrapping up on all of the discussions and handing over the certificate of completion.
 REDD+ is a framework created by the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. (Retrieved from UNFCCC site)
All workshop participants supported that AFoCO Climate Action Partnership Strategy is feasible and it would provide a platform for the member countries to 1) share best practices and lessons learned, 2) strengthen cooperation, 3) assist Parties to achieve FLR and REDD+ targets and 4) provides better access to funding. Regarding the REDD+ implementations, participants highlighted that various challenges and limitations are occurring in partnerships, funding, resource, capacity & expertise, and policy & governance.
Publications from previous FLR Workshop:
- (Training Report) AFoCO-ITTO Capacity Building Workshop on Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region
- (Policy Brief 1) Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region
Contributed by Khin Nyein San, 2022 AFoCO Fellowship Official from Myanmar